Basho's Poem and Konzenji Temple

Stone monument of Basho's poem on Nitta Army's sad fate

By Takako Sakamoto    - 1 min read

Konzenji Temple in Tsuruga city, Fukui, is located at the foot of Mt. Kanegasaki, and where a fierce battle between the Ashikaga Army (Northern Court) and the Nitta Army (Southern Court) was fought in the 14th century. Renowned Japanese poet of the Edo period, Matsuo Basho, visited Tsuruga in 1689 and visited this temple. Upon hearing the tragic story of the defeated Nitta Army and its bell, which was used in the battle to signal soldiers, and then was later sunk in the sea by Nitta Yoshisada when he escaped from Kanegasaki Castle, Matsuo Basho wrote a poem; 'Where is the moon? A bell sank to the bottom of the sea': a poem in which Basho empathized with the tragic fate of the Nitta Army. To commemorate Basho's visit here, a stone monument was built on its premises in 1761, and on this monument Basho's poem was carved.

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Takako Sakamoto

Takako Sakamoto @takako.sakamoto

I was born in and grew up in Tokushima prefecture, and have lived in many places since then: Nishinomiya, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Fukuoka and Fukui. I am currently living in Yokohama City. All the places I lived, all the places I visited, I have loved dearly. The historical places where people lived, loved, suffered, and fought - places where I can still hear their heartbeats - mesmerize me. I'd like to retrace the footsteps of the people who lived in Japan a long long time ago, and introduce to you what they left behind on this soil.